Losing your job is stressful.
Even with an emergency fund in place, it doesn’t take long to feel the financial impact of a sudden loss of income.
When recovering from income loss, the focus instantly shifts to finding a new job. While the job hunt is an important part of overcoming a financial setback, it fails to address some of the less obvious consequences of losing your job.
When you lose your job, you lose more than a regular paycheck. You also lose the routines, the socialization and even the sense of identity connected to that job.
Ignoring the non-financial consequences of job loss can profoundly impact your mental health and sabotage your recovery.
To help you reduce stress and stay motivated, it’s important to address the financial and non-financial aspects of losing your job.
3 things to keep doing after a job loss
If you face an income loss, try to keep doing the following:
|1| Keep your routine
When you lose your job, you also lose the regular routines that support that job—including everything from setting your alarm to your commute home at the end of the workday.
These daily rituals might not seem significant to you, but they help structure your day and provide you with natural cues to focus and relax.
Without them, it’s easy to feel lost and uninspired.
Recovery tip: Try to hold onto your daily routine:
- Wake up at the same time.
- Take your breaks at the same time.
- Replace your work tasks with tasks related to your job search.
Sticking to a routine ensures you make progress on your recovery plan every day without letting it overwhelm you.
|2| Keep your sense of identity
We live in a work-oriented culture. We describe ourselves using our job titles, and we turn to our work for a sense of purpose and pride.
It can be challenging to separate the work we do from our sense of self. A sudden job loss can feel like a personal failure instead of a temporary circumstance.
Recovery tip: Reflect on your personal goals. Remember that you can find meaning both within and outside of your work.
Dedicate time each day to pursue your interests, whether that’s taking an online course, volunteering or simply enjoying a hobby.
Engaging in activities you’re passionate about will keep you energized and grounded as you work toward financial recovery.
|3| Keep your social life
Your job is a source of social connection. Whether it’s a formal meeting or a casual break room chat, the typical workday is filled with social interaction.
When you’re suddenly cut off from those regular interactions, you might feel increasingly isolated and lonely.
Neglecting your social needs can lead to even more stress.
Recovery tip: Reach out to the people in your life who love and support you. Spend some quality time with your family and friends.
To further ease the stress and rebuild confidence, create opportunities for more social engagement outside of work. Volunteering or joining a club is a great way to make new friends and expand your network.
Final thought about job loss
Losing your job can greatly affect your daily routine, your sense of self and your social network.
These aspects might seem less urgent than the financial consequences of losing your job. But they play an important role in your overall well-being.
By responding to both the financial and non-financial setbacks related to job loss, you can minimize the obstacles on your path to recovery.